Calgary’s BMO Centre at Stampede Park is ready to welcome the world, officially becoming Western Canada’s largest convention centre with the grand opening of its 565,000 sq. ft. expansion.

Following decades of planning and four years of construction, the over one-million sq. ft. Tier 1 convention facility opens its doors for the first time.

The BMO Convention and Trade Centre Expansion project is No. 93 on ReNew Canada’s 2024 Top100 Projects report.

“For four years, we have been promising that the expanded BMO Centre will offer Calgarians, southern Albertans and visitors to our city a greater way to gather. Today, it is with immeasurable pride that we open the doors to the BMO Centre at Stampede Park,” said Joel Cowley, CEO of the Calgary Stampede. “The BMO Centre expansion was built for Calgary and southern Alberta, with the vision of creating a world-class facility both in terms of design and the ability to provide exceptional guest experiences through our signature western hospitality. With the interest we’ve seen from the meetings and conventions industry before the doors have even opened, we know that this facility is going to have a positive impact on Calgary’s economy by bolstering the tourism and hospitality sectors. We built this for our future, and we look forward to realizing the success of the expansion in the decades to come.”

The expansion’s first major event, the Global Energy Show, is already loading into the expansion’s exhibition halls in preparation for their June 11 event, and there are another 500 conventions and events booked into the expansion post-opening to date. This also translates to filling restaurants, shops, rideshares and other attractions that make Calgary unique. The economic impact to Calgary will equate to approximately upwards of $100 million a year and provide thousands of jobs.

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“We are proud to celebrate the grand opening of this remarkable expansion – brought to life by collaboration, partnership, and true dedication,” said George Chahal, MP for Calgary Skyview. “A milestone for Calgary, the BMO Centre will be a beacon of community pride, offering new spaces for gatherings, exhibitions, and experiences, while making the city a destination for national and international meetings and events. We are excited to see the countless opportunities it will bring to Calgary.”

The building, designed by leading design team Stantec, Populous and S2 Architecture, represents the next generation of convention facilities, one that promises best-in-class guest experience, boasts precedent-setting design architecture, and serves as a gathering place for convention attendees and the local community alike.

“In recent years, we’ve been seeing Canada and the world choose Alberta more and more as the place to live, work, invest, and raise a family. The new BMO Centre is going to help keep that trend going by bringing more business and industry events to the heart of Calgary where they’ll experience so many things that make this city great,” said Danielle Smith, Premier of Alberta. “This project is a testament to what we can accomplish when every level of government comes together. With its first major event just around the corner, I’m excited to see how the BMO Centre – now Western Canada’s largest convention centre – shows the world all the reasons Calgary is the prime destination to host their events.”

“With an increased ability to compete for world-class conventions and meetings thanks to the expanded BMO Centre, Calgary’s reputation on the global stage cannot be understated,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek. “The expanded BMO Centre is unique to Calgary, unique to the Calgary Stampede and unique to the industry. This is an architectural icon as well as a community gathering place, and Calgarians can be proud that we built this second-to-none facility right here in the heart of The Culture + Entertainment District.”

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“When we began design with our partners in 2019, we asked ourselves how we could design a facility that pushes the boundaries of convention centre design and experience, and every decision we made from that point on was with that goal in mind,” said Kate Thompson, president and CEO of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, Development Manager for the project. “CMLC is incredibly proud to have delivered this project on time and on budget, and to have delivered on the world-class promise we and our partners set out to achieve. With the completion of this catalyst project, we have set the tone for the coming years of development in The Culture + Entertainment District, and we are looking eagerly ahead to building on this momentum as we continue to transform this district together.”

After more than 124 years of working together, the Calgary Stampede and BMO have renewed their partnership for another 10 years, through until the end of 2033. As a part of this agreement, BMO has extended the naming rights of the BMO Centre to the BMO Centre expansion, which will welcome guests from our community and around the world.

“Developing strong partnerships within our communities is at the heart of what BMO does to boldly grow the good in business and life,” said Mike Bonner, Head, Distribution, Canadian Personal and Business Banking, BMO. “It’s an honour to be the naming sponsor of BMO Centre and to celebrate our partnership dating back to 1884 as the oldest business relationship in Western Canada. This landmark facility will serve as a gathering place the community and have a strong impact on the economy, further showcasing BMO’s commitment to driving progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future and inclusive society for Calgary and beyond.”

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Featured image: (CMLC)

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